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Social Media Principles

Social media on a mobile phone

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA MEANS TO US

Countless conversations take place online about Coca-Cola every day, and we want our Company’s more than 150,000 associates in more than 200 countries to join those conversations, represent our Company, and share the optimistic and positive spirits of our brands.

These Social Media Principles should guide your participation in social media, both personally as well as when you are acting in an official capacity on behalf of the Company.  It is critical we always remember who we are –the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands – and what our Company’s role is in the social media community – to inspire moments of optimism and happiness and build our brands.  The same considerations that apply to our messaging and communications in traditional media still apply in the online social media space, including on what you might consider “internal” platforms.

Have fun, but be smart.  Use sound judgment and common sense, adhere to the Company’s values, and follow the same Company policies that you follow in the offline world.  To get you started or to help you improve your social media skills, we offer training to our associates and our agency partners through our online learning portals, and we’ll continue to regularly evaluate our training classes and update them as social media evolves. 

COMPANY COMMITMENTS

The Company makes certain commitments concerning how we interact with the public and each other, and these commitments apply to interactions that occur on social media platforms as well.  We expect the same commitments from all Company representatives, including Company associates and associates of our agencies, vendors and suppliers:

  1. Coca-Cola will be transparent in every social media engagement.
  2. Coca-Cola will protect our consumers’ privacy in compliance with applicable Privacy Policies, IT Security Policies, and laws, rules, and regulations.
  3. Coca-Cola will respect copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity, and other third-party rights.
  4. Coca-Cola will be responsible in our use of technology and will not knowingly align our Company with any organizations or Web sites that use excessive tracking software, adware, malware or spyware.
  5. Coca-Cola will reasonably monitor our behavior in the social media space, establish appropriate protocols for establishing our social media presence, and keep appropriate records of our participation as dictated by law and/or industry best practices.

COMPANY AND AGENCY ASSOCIATES’ SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITIES

The Company respects the rights of its associates and its authorized agencies’ associates to use blogs and other social media tools not only as a form of self-expression, but also as a means to further the Company’s business. It is important our associates and our agencies are aware of the implications of engaging in social media and online conversations that reference the Company, its brands, or its business, and that they recognize when the Company might be held responsible for their behavior.  Our expectations for personal and professional/official use of social media are set forth separately below.

PERSONAL USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA:  OUR EXPECTATIONS

Whether you are an authorized Company spokesperson or not, when you’re talking about our Company, our brands, or our business on your personal social networks, keep in mind that:

  1. Our Company’s Information Protection Policy, Insider Trading Policy, and other policies still apply. 
  2. You are responsible for your actions. We encourage you to get online and have fun, but use sound judgment and common sense.
  3. You are an important ambassador for our Company’s brands, and you’re encouraged to promote them as long as you make sure you disclose that you are affiliated with the Company.  How you disclose can depend on the platform, but the disclosure should be clear and in proximity to the message itself.
  4. When you see posts or commentary on topics that require subject matter expertise, such as ingredients, obesity, the Company’s environmental impacts, or the Company’s financial performance, avoid the temptation to respond to these directly unless you respond with approved messaging the Company has prepared for those topics.  When in doubt, contact your local Public Affairs and Communications director.
  5. Be conscientious when mixing your business and personal lives; be sure to know your work group’s policies regarding personal use of social media at work or on Company devices.

COMPANY SPOKESPEOPLE: OUR EXPECTATIONS

When acting as an official Company spokesperson, we expect you to:

  1. Be trained.  All authorized Company spokespeople must complete the necessary internal training before speaking on behalf of the Company.
  2. Follow all applicable Company policies.
  3. Disclose your affiliation with the Company. All associates who are speaking for the Company must be transparent and disclose their affiliation with the Company. How exactly you make this disclosure may vary depending on the circumstances and the platform, but the important thing is to make sure people reading your statement will be able to immediately identify that you are affiliated with the Company. These disclosure requirements are equally important for any agency/vendor/partner/third party who is representing the Company online.
  4. When in doubt, do not post.
  5. Give credit where credit is due and don’t violate others’ rights. DO NOT claim authorship of something that is not yours. If you are using another party’s content, make certain they are credited for it in your post and they approve of you utilizing their content. Do not use the copyrighted material, trademarks, publicity rights, or other rights of others without the necessary permissions of the rightsholder(s).
  6. Remember that your local posts can have global significance. The way that you answer an online question might be accurate in some parts of the world, but inaccurate (or even illegal) in others. Keep that “world view” in mind when you are participating in online conversations.
  7. Remember the Internet is permanent.

Download our Social Media Principles (PDF)

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